The growing literature on the role of ethnic segregation in understanding spatial inequalities in mortality and morbidity has not yet been extended to the study of health-related behaviours. We address this gap in knowledge through an examination of the geography of smoking prevalence in New Zealand, using a multilevel repeated cross-sectional analysis of smoking prevalences in 1981 and 1996 as revealed in the New Zealand census. Smoking prevalences are explored for fourteen age and sex groups, nested in 1110 census area units. These in turn are nested in forty primary and secondary urban areas. We consider different measures of segregation and focus in detail on the relationship between smoking and Maori ethnic isolation. We examine the interplay between deprivation and segregation, addressing questions concerning the impact of changing segregation on changes in smoking behaviour. We hypothesise that more highly segregated populations suffer more psychosocial stress and so may smoke more. Results reveal the changing dynamics of smoking prevalence over time, and challenge initial assumptions that spatial ethnic segregation should relate to smoking prevalence.
- RACIAL RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION
- AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN
- US METROPOLITAN-AREAS
- HEALTH INEQUALITIES